E-Commerce provides opportunities for SMEs to reach customers in distant markets without the cost of establishment or the use of intermediaries. E-Commerce may therefore be an important vehicle for Caribbean firms to benefit from the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
However, in order to realise benefits from e-Commerce a number of conditions must be fulfilled: there must be a clear legal framework, an effective infrastructure must be in place, and Caribbean firms must be capable of using e-Commerce as a distribution channel. These conditions are not currently fulfilled.
In response to this situation, we support the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CaribExport) by examining the operational and legal challenges surrounding e-Commerce in CARIFORUM countries and recommend specific, tangible interventions to be made in the context of assistance programmes. The project is implemented by a team of five experts and runs from March to July 2010.